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11 October 2017

SBC Contributions To Dev’t Of Access & Benefit Sharing Initiative In Cameroon

Posted in News, Views 60

SBC Contributions To Dev’t Of Access & Benefit Sharing Initiative In Cameroon

Throughout history, indigenous peoples and local communities have used traditional knowledge and biological resources to cure illnesses, provide nourishment, and fulfill everyday livelihood needs. More recently, many people have benefitted from the use of some of this knowledge and biodiversity to develop pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, crop varieties and livestock breeds, and other products for personal use. However, communities that have nurtured the genetic diversity over thousands of years of cultivation and wild use often have not benefitted from these developments. Frequently, they are not involved in the research and development process, receive little or no compensation for their knowledge or resources, and have no access to the final products.

Ebenezer Akumbo

In an attempt to address these concerns at international and national levels, the Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) Initiative was introduced.ABS Initiative refers to the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of genetic resources and their related traditional knowledge.

Launched in Cameroon in 2012, the concept of ABS is been field-tested in Communities of Magha and Lewoh with Echinops and Mondia. The Mondia and Echinops genetic resources are purchased from the communities by the cooperatives (LeWoCoS and MoBECoS). The products are then exported to V. Mane Fils Company through Silver back company (SBC). The goal of the company is to provide long term financing to ERuDeF’s charity programmes through ploughing back profits generated from the Company’s businesses.

Silver Back Company serves as a link between the cooperatives and the French company. The Mount Bamboutos Echinop Cooperative Society (MoBECoS) is involved in buying the products from local communities, weighing and drying of the roots. The company is also involved in the buying and exporting of Mondia related products.

The benefit sharing scheme according to the Mutually Agreed Terms for the commercialization of Echinopsgiganteus in Cameroon is vital in regulating the relations between all stakeholders involved in the process.

Since the start of 2017, Silver Back Company has assisted in the exportation of 1 ton of Echinops roots to V. Mane Fils Company in France.

The Silver Back Company has contributed greatly in the commercialization of Echinops by linking the French Company in the North South trade relations and facilitating quality and respect of business ethics.

11 October 2017

Liquid Fertilizer Gaining Grounds In West Region

Posted in News, Views 69

Liquid Fertilizer Gaining Grounds In West Region

Farmers in the Western part of Cameroon have adopted a new method of fertilising crops. Juice squeezed from agroforestry leaves and other biological materials are applied on crops, yielding equivalent results as other fertilisers. The new technology was discovered by ERuDeF’s field based technician in Bakassa (West Region of Cameroon), Jean Baptiste Nitcheu,

According to Jean Baptiste, planting these trees year in, year out, gave him the new knowledge of creating his own fertiliser from natural and agroforestry plants. With his enthusiasm for the agroforestry project, he began to test different ways of making his life much better and it is from here that since 2010 he began to produce liquid fertilizer

“The liquid fertilizer is made out of water, urine of rabbits, and Acacia or Leucaena leaves. It requires no money. I have been able to make huge gains out of this fertiliser, helping other farmers in their farms. It highly increases soil fertility and thus, greater output from the farm,” Jean Baptite said.

He underscored the advantage of the liquid fertilizer over other fertilizers

“They are applied to plants by watering or spraying thereby reduce watering, it doesn’t require the labour of mixing it into the soil. The best part is, this mixture serve as pesticides as it kills all insects destroying crops,” Jean Baptiste added.

This new discovery has greatly helped many famers in the West Region. With the ease with which the fertiliser is applied, many farmers around Noun and Menoua Division of the West Region are investing in the use of the Liquid fertiliser.

“It’s a miraculous fertiliser. We apply on our cabbage and Irish potatoes farms, and honestly, our crops are really fresh. It’s so natural and it readily fertilises the soil,” Michelle Ngakam affirmed.

Hence food production is on the increase in this part of Cameroon. The said man,Nitcheu Jean Baptiste, has been working with Trees for the Future/Trees Cameroon since 2007 and has planted over 1million agroforestry species of trees.

Payong Prudence

03 August 2017

ERuDeF, Rainforest Trust Making Great strides in Managing Tofala

Posted in News, Views 246

 ERuDeF, Rainforest Trust Making Great strides in Managing Tofala

The Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary is one of Cameroon’s newest protected area created in 2014 by a Prime Ministerial Decree for the conservation of some close to 40 Cross River Gorilla, over 150 Nigerian Cameroon Chimpanzees, unknown population Drills and other biodiversity species.

Though a bold step towards conserving this biodiversity hotspot and its emblematic biodiversity species, the protected area was still left at the mercy of some thirteen adjacent communities, who continue to hunt and sell wildlife species, also creating farms within the area in a bid to meet up with daily needs.

By B. Shancho Ndimuh

Haven successfully facilitated the creation of this protected area, the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) could not let its dream of ensuring the long term conservation of endangered biodiversity species in the area, most especially the Cross River Gorilla, Nigeria Cameroon Chimpanzees and Drills amongst others to be watered down by unsustainable anthropogenic activities.

To avert this plight, the Cameroon’s leading conservation non-profit organisation, ERuDeF, last January, 2017 joined forces with Rainforest Trust USA.

Aimed at ensuring the conservation and effective management of this biodiversity hotspot, ERuDeF and partner trained and equipped some nine government Eco-Guards and six community Eco-Guards with the necessary knowledge and tools like global positioning System (GPS), cyber trackers and camera traps, to crack down on deviant behaviours in and around the sanctuary.Few months after, the Conservator of the Tafala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary,Mr Thomas Njimin Amin, in an interview granted The Green Vision recently, testified that a lot has been achieved

“I think our presence and constant patrol of this area has scared away many poachers because poaching has drastically reduced. What remains a great challenge is the opening up of new farms most around the Egumbu flank of the forest. We actually find it difficult to carry out any legal action against the perpetrators because we too are not certain about the park boundary. So the speedier ERuDeF can facilitate the demarcation of the park border the easier our task will be” the Conservator recommended.

He added that their patrol has led to the discovery of a market in Egumbu that operates in the night and is known for the selling the cartridges to hunters mostly from Mamfe and Bamenda. The Tofala boss said he will be meeting the Divisional Officer of that area so that the market can either be dissolved or made to operate during the day.

In the area of research, ERuDeF’s team of biologists alongside some six trained local Eco-guards are carrying additional surveys in and around Tofala extending to areas like Egumbu, Bamumbu and Fossimondi, that have hitherto never been covered due to logistic reasons. Speaking to The Green Vision recently, ERuDeF’s Biologist, Gwendoline Angwa revealed that this additional survey has led to the discovery of a group of the Nigerian Cameroon Chimpanzee and signs of the Cross River Gorilla in Fossimondi and some monkey species in Bamumbu. She indicated that, the research has led to the recording of several signs of wildlife threats like gun shells and new farms with some up to one hectare amongst others.

Miss Angwa said the data collected has been imputed into a database which will be analyzed and published in due course. This, according to her will influence government policy towards the effective management of this protected area.

In order to effectively engage community members in the conservation of this protected area, Miss Angwa disclosed that ERuDeF has re-organised the Village Conservation Committee with members trained and implored to follow up and ensure that protected species are not hunted and new farms are not opened within the protected area.

In a bid to promote ecotourism and research within this biodiversity hotspot, the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of ERuDeF, Ursula Nkeng, said feasibility studies are being carried out for the construction of an office based camp while contacts are already been made with engineers that will construct the camp. She added that activities geared towards demarkating the park boundaries have already begun. Meanwhile, the putting in place of a technical committee for the elaboration and validation of a Management Plan for the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary by the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife (MINFOF), is being awaited. A request letter in this regard was transmitted to the Minister last April, 2017.

The COO stated that as soon as the technical committee is put in place by the Minister, a road map for the establishment of the management plan will be established while Sub-Divisional, Divisional and National validation meetings will be organized.

It’s therefore incumbent on the Minister of Forestry and Wildlife to speedy the putting in place of the task force to hasten up the establishment of the management plants greatly needed for the proper management of this outstanding biodiversity hotspot with globally threatened and important species.

03 August 2017

ERuDeF Sets 2035 Budget At FCFA 10 Billion

Posted in News, Views 271

ERuDeF Sets 2035 Budget At FCFA 10 Billion

Board of Trustees (BoT) at the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), have set FCFA 10 billion ($20 million) as the budget to run the organisation by 2035. They made this revelation, Saturday July 8, 2017, in an ordinary board meeting at the conference room of the ERuDeF Institute of Biodiversity and Non-profit studies.

By: Joyce Mbong

The meeting was also aimed at adopting and approving the 2016/2017 report and budget. The President and CEO of ERuDeF, Louis Nkembi, indicated that FCFA 100 Billion would be used for the construction of an ultra-modern complex for ERuDeF hosting offices. It will also be used to erect a university with two faculties (Business and Biodiversity), 500 sitter capacity amphitheatre, departmental conference halls, virtual libraries, a research centre in Besali and a host of others.

This budget, according to the ERuDeF boss, will also be used for the construction the Organisation’s Western Regional office in Menji (to coordination activities in West, Northwest and part of Southwest Regions) and the Centre Regional office in Yaounde (to coordinate activities in the Centre and Adamawa Regions). He said the budget would equally see the recruitment of some 500 Cameroonians

The President and CEO disclosed that such a target is in line with the Organisation’s drive to consolidate its position as the leading conservation NGO in Central Africa as well as maintain its supremacy among NGOs in Africa.

The President indicated ERuDeF would accomplish the budget at the stipulated time if all staff, management and Board of Trustees harness their efforts for the betterment of the organisation.

“The time for wait and see has passed. We need to redouble our efforts to meet up with all standards. If we have the right team and resources put together, we can go far beyond this vision,” Louis Nkembi said.

Schooling board members on the organisation’s progress and other key sites of interest, he cited the launching of ERuDeF UK and USA branches, the advancement of activities/work at the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, proposed Mak Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary, and the proposed Mount Muanenguba Integral Ecological Reserve and others as key achievements.

Mr. Nkembi frowned at limited commitment and dedication exhibited by board members calling on them to become more committed so the Organisation’s aspirations can be met.

This reaction harvested varied feedbacks form Board Members at the meeting.

“I want to commend the numerous efforts of ERuDeF staff for the realisation of all these works. I think we as Board of Trustees have to be more committed to reach our expected goal; we need to be more committed and dedicated. We will leave no stone unturned at realizing our vision,” Dr. Zikeng Martina said.

The meeting ended with the admission of ERuDeF’s Chief Operations Officer, Ursula Nkeng, into the Organisation’s membership. Mrs. Nkeng promised to be more committed to the activities of the organisation and revive old member to be more active and interactive.

Meanwhile, Board Members agreed to elect other members to fill vacant positions including that of the Vice President who passed away early this year.

03 August 2017

Farmers In Magha-Bamumbu Improve Livelihoods Via Echinops Roots Exportation.

Posted in News, Views 254

Farmers In Magha-Bamumbu Improve Livelihoods Via Echinops Roots Exportation.

The President of Mt Bamboutos Enterprise Cooperative Society (MoBECoS), Landus Thandus, has testified that the commercialisation of Echinops root has improved on household incomes of many in the community.

By E.Fuh

He was speaking on the heels of the successful exportation of over 894Kg dried roots Echinops giganteus, mid-June 2017, by farmers, to V. Mane Fils Company in France under the auspices of Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF).

Mr. Landus posits that since the inception of this project, the lives of community members have not been the same again.

“This project has greatly improved the livelihood of our members and the Magha Bamumbu community. We have members who have built houses and extended their businesses, thanks to money generated from this project,” Landus Thandus attested.

The Project Coordinator of the Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) Initiative at ERuDeF, Akumbu Ebenezer, said the urgent demand for the roots (genetic resources) in the fragrance and pharmaceutical industries in France and the United States of America, warrant supplies at high quantities.

Akumbu added that according to the ABS principles, the V. ManeFils Company, that is currently using the genetic material to produce useful products in France, would plough back the profit that will be generated after the sales of the products, to the Magha-Bamumbu community.

“The profit generated from the commercialisation of the end-product, will be shared equitably with the local community (provider), and V. Mane Fils (potential user). This will go a long way to sustained and improve the livelihoods of the community concerned,” commented the ABS Project Coordinator.

Meanwhile, the Magha-Bamumbu community, have in order to boost supply, underscored the need for a vehicle that will aid in roots transportation.

03 August 2017

New Delegate Affirms Collaboration With ERuDeF In Lebialem Highlands Biodiversity Management

Posted in News, Views 234

 New Delegate Affirms Collaboration With ERuDeF In Lebialem Highlands Biodiversity Management

The new Divisional Delegate of Forestry and Wildlife for Lebialem, Ikome Delphine, has expressed her desire to unflinchingly collaborate with the Environment and Rural Development (ERuDeF) in saving species and biodiversity hotspots within the Lebialem Highlands Conservation Complex.

She was speaking, Monday July 10, 2017, to the ERuDeF team during a familiarity visit at ERuDeF’s Western Cameroon head office in Menji, Lebialem Division.

By Gwendoline Angwa

The Divisional Delegate said ERuDeF has already invested so much in her conservation strive within the Lebialem Highlands. She promised to follow the footprints of her predecessor, to facilitate ERuDeF’s conservation efforts.

“If I have any vibrant thing to do in Lebialem Division, it’s thanks to the many works ERuDeF has put in here in the Lebialem Highlands. I would work with the NGO to facilitate the conservation of wildlife species in the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, and also facilitate the creation of the proposed Mak-Betchou wildlife sanctuary, among other things,” Delphine Ikome said.

The Delegate and her team reviewed ERuDeF’s activities in the Lebialem Highlands Conservation Complex, posing questions and recommendations on how things can be smoothly run in line with conservation.

With respect to the misunderstanding in the Lebang Fondom, in the creation of the proposed Mak-Betchou wildlife sanctuary, the delegate promised to contact the competent authority in Lebang, so issues are sorted out.

The Delegate recommended that ERuDeF hasten up processes of boundary demarcation for the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary. This to her, will avoid encroachment by villagers. She also recommended that eco guards and rangers be presented with state of the art equipment to facilitate surveillance around the Tofala wildlife sanctuary.

The meeting wrapped up with the delegate requesting that all ERuDeF report on activities conducted in Lebialem be submitted to MINFOF. This, according to her, will assist in enhancing follow-up and collaboration between her delegation and the organisation.

03 August 2017

Lebialem Community Schooled On Benefits of Agroforestry Systems

Posted in News, Views 654

Lebialem Community Schooled On Benefits of Agroforestry Systems

The Lebialem Agroforestry Programme Coordinator, Ntungwa Elong, has enlightened people of Lebialem on the importance of the agroforestry systems in the improvement of farm yields.

By: Smith Elong

In an over 20 minute sensitisation talk on this system of farming at the Lebialem Community Radio (107.5FM), Friday July 14, 2017, the Agroforestry Programme Coordinator said Agroforestry system is the combination of agriculture, forestry technologies and livestock to create more integrated, diverse, productive, profitable, healthy and sustainable land-use system.

He expounded that the system has scientifically been proven as one of the best farming techniques. This, according to him, is because it improves the soils’ fertility and increases farm yield via the planting of agroforestry tree species like Acacia, Lucaena, Calliandra.

“If you plant these trees in your farms using alley cropping technique, it will provide numerous benefits such as soil conservation, organic fertilizers and water conservation to the agricultural system,” Mr. Elong added.

The Agroforestry Programme Coordinator told the listeners that, the aforementioned trees in addition to fertilising the soils, would also serve as feed for livestock and fuel wood.

“When you plant these trees in your farms, your soil will be greatly improved. However, you can also use the leaves of the trees to feed your pigs, goats, and even cows. It is even advisable that you use these plants for your livestock because the plants contain huge nutrients,” Elong said.

Most of the listeners who reached the radio station for inquiry, sought to know how they get hold of the trees so they can experiment in their farms. Elong promised to make available the tree species to all interested persons.

In collaboration with Trees for the Future, ERuDeF through its Department of Agroforestry and Agricultural Development, builds the capacity and empower farmers across Cameroon on modern techniques of practicing agriculture, using agroforestry systems.

03 August 2017

Over 60500 agroforestry species transplanted In West, Littoral Regions

Posted in News, Views 225

Over 60500 agroforestry species transplanted In West, Littoral Regions

Over 60500 agroforestry trees have been transplanted in four divisions of the West and Littoral Regions, Cameroon. A team of agroforestry technicians arrived at this statistics recently, after an evaluation tour to the two Regions.

According to the Agroforestry Coordinator for the West and Littoral, Junie Chamjui, farmers took interest in planting more agroforestry trees after a series of transplanting workshops held at Haut-kam, Bamboutos, Menoua, and Moungo Divisions. The farmers were trained on value chain, grafting techniques, farm optimization model, composting, and practically on the transplanting of agroforestry seedlings.

“After the series of trainings we gave our farmers, many of them took interest in planting more trees. We transplanted 60500 acacia seedlings from their nursery sites to the new planting sites. Of the 60500 seedlings, 11500 were planted in Moungo,18500 in Bamboutos, 21000 in Menoua and 9500 in Haut-kam divisions,” Junie said

She expatiated on the importance of the tree planting exercise to the farmers.

“The seedlings, which occupy 0.7 ha of land, will increase crop production from 0.5 tonnes per hectare to 2tonnes, in three years. Besides soil improvement, the agroforestry trees will also serve as fuel wood to farmers, enhance honey production, serve as wind breaks, limit effect of erosion and provide additional income,” Junie added.Cameroon, West, Bamboutos, Bangang, First restitution result of territorial play workshop

On her part, a farmer at Banka I, Haut-Nkam division in the West Region Kameni Philomène, said she is impressed learning, understanding, and practicing the various agroforestry techniques.

“I am new in the project, but very engaged because of the problem of poor soil fertility. I strongly believe with the introduction of these agroforestry trees, my soil will improve and my production will increase. In addition, the compost training was very good. My entire household garbage, except plastic, will be put inside the hole,” Kameni said.

Poor soil fertility, low yield, low level of knowledge on new agricultural practice and low income are outcomes of bad agricultural practices.

In order to boost agricultural productivity, farmers have often resorted to buying fertiliser sometimes without really knowing the long term effect of the fertiliser on the soil. The truth about fettiliser application is that the quantity of agricultural produce is always great during the first few years and then starts decreasing with the time because of destruction of nutrient in the arable soil and the change of substrate of the soil.

To solve this problem, the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) with the support of Trees for the Future-USA has since 2007 been engaging farmers in the agroforestry system of farming. Here, they are engaged in the nursing and planting of nitrogen fixing trees like acacia; luceana and calliandra.

03 August 2017

Sale of Forested Lands Drives Wanton Deforestation In Upper Bayang

Posted in News, Views 151

Sale of Forested Lands Drives Wanton Deforestation In Upper Bayang

The population of Bokwa, Kendem and Fumbe villages in the Upper Bayang Subdivision Southwest Cameroon have cautioned their chiefs to desist from excessive sale of community and forested lands inducing wanton deforestation in the area.

Floribert Assonga

They were speaking recently, during sensitisation meetings organised by the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) for the creation of community forests that will serve as a corridor linking Mone Forest Reserve in Upper Bayang and Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary in Lebialem passing through Forest Management Unit (FMU) 11-002.

According to villagers, the community/forested lands are mostly sold to wealthy individuals from the West, Northwest and other parts of Southwest, who have destroyed the forests for cash crop cultivation.

“Our chiefs have resorted to recklessly selling large hectares of our community lands to these non-natives. An individual buys upto 10, 50, 100, 500 and even 800 hectares of forestland from our chiefs just at an instance. The lands are used to setup palm, cocoa and rubber plantations. Besides inducing deforestation, this act is detrimental to us the indigenes and if care is to taken, we shall soon be buying lands from these people,”Ako Jonathan, an indigene of Bokwa village cried out.

Corroborating this, the Coordinator of the Tofala-Mone East Corridor Rainforest Community project, Assongacap Asonga, after a feasibility study carried out recently to ascertain the possibility of creating a Community Forest (CF) block between the proposed BEET CF and Forest Management Unit 11-002 in Upper Bayang, observed that non-natives legally owned most of the large palm, cocoa and plantain plantations. A situation, which according to Mr. Asong, has compounded the rate of deforestation in the area as supposed buyers open new farmlands.

“In the process of opening farmlands, those who buy these lands cut down trees, hence, destroying the habitats of some animals. Most of the crops planted in the plantationare still young, ranging from one to five years.We call on the competent authorities to take concrete measures to remedy these problems for it could create serious issues in the nearest future,” Floribert Asonga cautioned.

The scramble for land in this area has been largely attributed to ongoing projects to complete the ring road.

“One of the causes of this problem is the Bamenda-Ekok road which has rendered the area very accessible. I call on our chiefs especially those of Etoko, Kendem, Numba, Egbemo, and Nchemba villages who are along the Bamenda-Mamfe road to reduce the rate at which they sell our community land to strangers as it represents a threat to our future generations to come,” says Tabe Valentine of Etoko village.

Upper Bayang is lodged in the heart of a dense tropical rainforest rich in biodiversity. It has attracted forest exploitation interests, ecotourism and Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs)harvesters in the past years.The biophysical environment today comprises of forest cover, which is highly facing timber exploitation, agricultural areas and human habitation.Upper Bayang is blessed with a long raining season and a short dry season. This makes the area rich of water resources in the form of streams, rivers and springs.

The Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) is piloting the Tofala-Mone East Corridor Rainforest Community Conservation Project that began in January 2016. The project seeks to create a wildlife corridor, which will serve as a genetic pool linking the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary (THWS) and the Mone Forest Reserve. In particular, it will connect the Cross River gorillas of TofalaHill Wildlife Sanctuary to those of the Takamanda National Park through the Mone Forest Reserve.

03 August 2017

ERuDeF, Empowering Women In Green Economy

Posted in News, Views 239

“When more women work, economies grow,” says Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, a UN Women Executive. Off late, there has been an urgent call for greater gender equality, which has also implied a greater use of human capital as well as human development. However, human development has laid on women around the world who still face massive gender gap in employment and wages.

To support economic growth and development, the Environment and Rural Development (ERuDeF),is empowering communities with the necessary skills and tools to be self-reliant through alternative sources of livelihood. In carrying this initiative, women are giving leading roles in the economy transformed. What better moment to achieve this than now, when the world is pursuing another economic transformation, towards a green economy.

In fact, transforming women’s role in the economy could even bemore urgent in the context of protected area management. Traditional partition of responsibility means that men and women perform different activities within forest areas, particularly in developing countries like Cameroon. Because men are more likely to perform wage labour or farm cash crops like cocoa and coffee, women are more often responsible for growing of subsistence crops like NTFPs and taking care of their families.

For the fact that these women are directly involved in the welfare of their families, there is need to divert their attention from the forest and protected areas. ERuDeF has therefore, sought out alternative means of securing food locally. In doing this, more income will be generated to support their families in particular and the community in general. The challenges women face are intensified in areas where women already spend hours each day gathering NTFPs, travelling long distances, using head load as means of transportation and unstable market prices kills the little ambitions they have generated or nursed.

Against this background, it is therefore crucial to empower women through the women in Green Economy Initiative to be launched by ERuDeF which will valorise NTFPs through a value chain development process, in and around protected areas and in biodiversity hot spots in Cameroon.

Community action for biodiversity preservation with women as focus, intends to empower women on the domestication of NTFPs and other forest products, promote its commercialisation, develop a value chain process, setting up a processing unit and at the end, initiate a marketing process for these NTFPs.

‘Women in Green Economy’ therefore suggest that there should exist an environmentally-friendly economy, sensitive to the need of restoring and conserving natural resources through the full participation of women and young girls. The initiative Women in Green Economy is a concept, which simply offers hope to the women in relations to the environment.

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